The 11 colleges that frequent the 'Forbes 400' list | College Connection

College-bound students with a goal of one day becoming a billionaire and finding their name on the “Forbes 400 List of the Richest Americans” will want to consider the latest statistics.

There are 11 schools that collectively claim as alumni more than a quarter of this year’s Forbes 400 Richest Americans. The University of Pennsylvania tops the list with 17 graduates on the list, including former President Donald Trump who returned after a one-year absence. Harvard University (which doesn’t get to count its two most famous dropouts: Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg) tied with Yale University for second place with 11 alumni apiece.

Two California institutions took fourth and fifth place: University of Southern California with 10 graduates and Stanford University with nine graduates. Trailing close behind are Princeton (eight graduates) and Columbia University, Cornell University and University of Michigan, each with seven graduates. Dartmouth College and New York University tied for 10th place with six graduates each.

“Clearly, graduating from a top school isn’t a requirement for admission to The Forbes 400. Nor is it a guaranteed ticket on the list,” reported Forbes. “But this select group of schools must offer some advantage, given their disproportionate share of the country’s wealthiest graduates.”

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The Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans further reported that nearly half of the nation’s wealthiest people majored in one of three subjects while in college. Despite the fact that many on the list made their fortunes in “tech” fields, Computer Science is not one of these fields.

The most popular undergraduate degree of America’s richest graduates is business. That was the major chosen by Dallas Mavericks owner (and “Shark Tank” host) Mark Cuban, Oracle of Omaha’s Warren Buffett, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Walmart heir Jim Walton.

The other two majors of the nation’s wealthiest college graduates are Economics and Engineering. The wealthiest Economics majors include New York Mets owner and hedge fund investor Steve Cohen, who hails from the University of Pennsylvania, and brokerage firm founder Charles Schwab, graduate of Stanford.

Billionaires who were Engineering majors include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who studied both Engineering and Computer Science.

Of course, there are anomalies to every list. Twenty of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans only hold a high school diploma, and one never even finished high school: Todd Christopher, founder and CEO of haircare products company Vogue International.

Another 37 dropped out before graduation – often to jumpstart their entrepreneurial careers.

While there are no guarantees in life, the colleges on Forbes’ list and the majors that billionaires in the past have found fruitful are certainly worth consideration by the current class of college-bound students.

Susan Alaimo, founder and director of Collegebound Review, offers PSAT/SAT® preparation, essay editing, and private college advising by Ivy League educated instructors. Visit or call 908-369-5362.

This article originally appeared on 'Forbes 400': 11 colleges frequent the list